Rob Wheeler: Faceplant Boardriders, Wheelrz, and Event Organizer

Rob Wheeler

Brothers Ricky and Rob Wheeler have been further progressing the longboard industry with Faceplant Boardriders, Wheelrz Wheels, and active involvement in hosting events. Passionately involved in skating, surfing, and snowboarding, these guys love to shred all types of terrain. Initially inspired by their passion for board sports, Ricky and Rob strive to get people stoked on shredding and to “ride the lifestyle”.

Ricky and Rob live by their motto “PAIN for PROGRESSION”. In the world of extreme sports, you are constantly paying for progression in the form of pain from wipeouts, but there is no better feeling in the world then stomping that trick and riding away from it.

Faceplant Boardriders

These brothers have been building and riding their own homemade longboards for well over a decade at this point and their construction is built to last. Offering 30 different board shapes, they offer something for all types of riding styles through their company, Faceplant Boardriders.

Rob Wheeler for Faceplant Boardriders

These boards are built to perform and are made with marine grade epoxy resins, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and premium grade baltic birch. Among the pre-built boards listed on their website they also take special orders for custom built boards at your request.

Faceplant’s current lineup is categorized into different series that include; The Agent Series, Freeride Arsenal, Surfer’s Stash, Hang Loose Cruisers, and Custom Classics.

Rob Wheeler throwing down

For more information check out their website and Facebook page.

Wheelrz

Aside from board building, Ricky and Rob Wheeler have also gotten involved in producing their own wheels under the brand name Wheelrz. After spending a lot of time testing different shapes and urethane formulas they have developed what they consider the perfect high quality wheels that don’t cost riders a fortune.

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These wheels are fast, smooth, predictable, and affordable. Wheelrz wheels have been designed by skaters for skaters and can be used for all skate disciplines. Their current wheel lineup includes the Wheelrz Diablos, the 70’s, and the Magic 8 Balls.

For more information on these wheels check out their website and Facebook page.

Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series

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Rob Wheeler, known for his goofular surfy skate style has been hosting regular east coast skate events since 2012. Rob initially recognized the need for sanctioned events when police began blowing a lot of the outlaw events he had been attending. Nowadays he has become super involved in event hosting and has super big plans for the future.

If you have not yet heard of Rob’s events you will be familiar with them soon as they are becoming more fun, more successful and more rad each time. This year he has helped in creating and will be hosting the first annual Mid-Atlantic Freeride series that includes 4 big skate events throughout the year; 2nd annual Skate for Peace, Bethlehem Freeride Competition, Rip the Elwood2, and Skate the Cape Shred Festival 3.

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“The big event that really turned things around for me was when I went to uncle funkys style session in 2011. That was the first event where it was organized, there were pro riders that I recognized and the energy was high even for being at 8 in the morning the day after the Broadway Bomb.  I remember seeing tech sliding for the first time and was blown away to see a whole another discipline of skateboarding. They were all stoked on me riding such a tiny board (Mini Stick link) and I actually got first place at that event. It felt good to win this event because there were so many good riders with completely different styles.  I was so surprised and pumped at the fact that the riders actually voted for who they thought was best at that session. That style of judging format eliminated the biased judging that you might find at a local competition where the host might choose their friends as winners. So the uncle funkys style session was when I really got inspired to get involved in hosting my own events and adopted the same judging system where the skaters vote who was best.”

The first annual Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series will have two divisions: Under 18 Division and an Open Division. This is a progressive series that spans over the year. Since this is a progressive series, there is also going to be a Progressive Payout Purse meaning that money from each participating event will go towards the Purse, and after the final participating event (Skate the Cape Shred Festival 3), the Freeride Series Winners will be announced and prizes and cash payouts will be handed out to the Top 5 riders in each division. We will be keeping track of the top riders on the Facebook Page for the Series based on a points system. Riders placing in the top 10 of any of the participating events will be awarded points.

Freeride Series and Event Judging System:

The Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series will be using an un-biased and proven judging system. Each participating event will use the same judging system to keep it fair across the board. Each division will be run separately and the Event’s judges will choose the top 10 riders that will move on to the finals. Those top 10 riders from the Under 18 and Open Division get put into a final heat. One (1) rubber band will be distributed to each participating audience member (family, spectators, and riders not in that final) before each division final. Then each rider gets 2 individual runs with their name called out before each run. After all the riders have completed their two runs, everyone mingles together to distribute their rubber bands to who they thought was the best rider of that final. The Rider with the most rubber bands wins, second most rubber bands is second, and so on…

Points System:

The top 10 riders of the Freeride Events will be awarded points for the series in the following fashion: 1st Place=10 points, 2nd Place=9 points, 3rd Place=8 points, and so on down to 10th Place = 1 point. Any Rider can accumulate points towards the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series simply by participating in any of the Freeride portions of any of the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series participating events, and you can accumulate points from each and every event meaning if you place 3rd in all 4 events, you will end the Series with 32 points.

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Rob has been not only been killing it in the board building and wheel producing scene but he has been a huge supporter in hosting and planning out successful skate events. The Mid-Atlantic freeride series is something fairly new to the east coast scene and his past events have been very successful so far. Since Rob’s first event involvement, Skate the Cape in 2012, he has gotten recognition and involvement from RedBull and they have been a big scene supporter of Rob’s skateboarding events. Recently Rob has gotten involved in helping with RedBull’s very own, first ever, and official sanctioned longboard event called the RedBull Big Drop. 

“This is huge and I am so stoked to be apart of it and to help host it. We sold out so fast on the downhill spots and there’s only going to be 60 spots for the slide event so that’s going to fill up really quickly. Everyone is really excited that RedBull is starting to recognize longboarding as an extreme sport because that’s only going to mean good things for longboarding. We hope that this event will bring more exposure and more legitimacy to longboarding being an extreme sport, especially the downhill/sliding realm. I think Redbull is starting to see that and hopefully they will really push to host more events like the Big Drop. So many big things happening this year with longboarding events on the east coast and really I am really stoked to be a part of it all”.

Click here to watch Rob’s “Rollin’ With Rob” Video Series:

Full Disclosure: Steve currently rides for Wheelerz. 

Bethlehem Freeride Competition – 6/21

Bethlehem Freeride Competition

Following the Second Annual Skate for Peace Bethlehem, PA will play host to the Bethlehem Freeride Competition on June 21. After clear success from previously held events, Faceplant Boardriders brings you the 2nd stop on the Mid-Atlantic Freeride Series. With 100% approval from the Bethlehem community, the event will take place at High St. directly in the heart of northern Bethlehem.

Here’s your chance make best of the summer solstice, and go have fun with your homies in a controlled situation!

Check out the event page description:

11am: Practice and WheelRZ Diablos Fire Events. WheelRZ will be giving out Diablos for best Kicker Trick, best Faceplant or fall, and longest slide(heel and toe). We will announce each fire event on the megaphone during practice.

Under 18 division (64 Rider Cap) $20 entry (Hardgood Prizes and automatically entered in Mid Atlantic Freeride Series if you place in top 10 finals)

Noon: 1st Heat Starts-32 riders (25 min)
12:30: 2nd Heat Starts-32 riders (25 min)
We will pick the top 5-10 riders from each heat to battle it out in the finals.

Open division (64 Rider Cap) $25 entry (Cash and schwag Prizes, also automatically entered in Mid Atlantic Freeride Series if you place in top 10 finals)

1pm: 1st Heat Starts-32 riders (30 min)
1:30pm 2nd Heat Starts-32 riders (30 min)
We will pick the top 5-10 riders from each heat to battle it out in the finals.

FINALS: Using the Mid Atlantic Freeride Series Un-Biased Judging System we will have each rider take 2 individual runs with their name announced before the run. Each audience member will have a rubber band to give to who they thought was the best rider in the finals. After the entire division(either Under 18 or Open) has gone the audience will hand out the votes(rubber bands), tally the votes and announce the winners.

2pm: Under 18 Finals. Each rider will get 2 runs with their name announce for Audience Voting
2:45pm: Open Finals. Each rider will get 2 runs with their name announce for Audience Voting

Sound off in the comments section if you’re going to be attending and make sure you subscribe to our e-mail updates below so you’re in the loop if anything changes.

Second Annual Skate for Peace – 5/24

 skate for peace

 

Following last year’s success, Brian Fitch’s Skate for Peace Charity event, in partnership with KidsPeace National Centers, Faceplant Boardriders, and WheelRZ, is back for round two on Saturday, May 24.

Not only will you be helping a charitable cause (with 50% of the proceeds going to KidsPeace National Centers), but you will also get to enjoy a thrilling day consisting of a downhill race, slide jam, as well as various ditch competitions.  All events will take place at sanctioned roads of KidsPeace National Centers in Orefield, Pennsylvania.

All skaters of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to attend, as there will be something to do for everyone. Come on out for a grand ‘ole time!

Schedule:

Registration – 9 am
Practice – 9 am to 9:45 am
Downhill Racing – 10 am
Slide Jam Competition – 1 pm
Slide Jam Finals – 2 pm
Podium – 3 pm
Old School Ditch Style Session – 4 pm

Registration/Fees:

$20 entry fee per main event (DH and Slide)
$10 entry fee for Ditch Style Session

For even more information, check out the Facebook Page.

 1st Annual Skate for Peace

In the meantime, here’s last years coverage to get you stoked:

Spring Wheelabrator — 4/13 in Lisbon, CT

Photo Credit: Richard Barrett

Photo Credit: Richard Barrett

Attending Wheelabrator has become somewhat of a rite of passage among southern New England skaters having been going down twice a year for a while now. The emphasis with the event is that it’s not a contest, nor a nontest, but simply a gathering of skaters for a dope day on varied terrain. It’s going down again this Sunday, April 13th so read on and get ready for one of the most stoke-filled nontests (non-contest) of the season!

All levels of skating experience are encouraged to attend this event and no one should feel intimidated, the sole purpose of this event is to have #FUN. 

It’s a pretty cool spot that features a narrow and fast bike path with some killer turns that are super sketchy and terribly fun in packs, a straight downhill run for people to practice pack runs, and a straightforward slide hill; it has something for almost every rider at almost every skill level. The other dopest part: with the exception of other skaters coming to the event, there’s virtually no traffic.

Plug “Wheelabrator Industries” in Lisbon, CT into your GPS and you’ll clearly see where to go and where to park once you get to the hills.

Check out the official event description:

“The most fun longboard gathering in the area is going down again this spring at the same place as always!

Wheelabrator event is a gathering of like minded souls for the purpose of skating and having fun. There are 3 distinct hills:
The main hill which is a 30-35mph (max) 2 lane fairly straight forward hill, it’s a good place to practice your tuck, it’s 8/10th of a mile long and rewards a good tuck, it’s also fun to draftrain, get cozy and get silly. Then there is the slide hill which has a right and a left turn. Wide enough to slide softwheel or tech

The Bikepath is always the crowd favorite and is a narrow path 1/3rd of a mile winding through the trees you can make 30mph on it though the last 2 turns which can get pretty interesting in a tight pack on a narrow path.

Some really good sessions have happened at wheelabrator and as a location it deals with crowds very well which isn’t always true of skate spots. Runs will be taken, slides will be made and everyone is guaranteed a great time.”

What better way to start off the skate season then a stoke filled event like Wheelabrator? 

Check out some of these video links from previous Wheelabrator events:

Major Stok’em 6 – 4/19

Major Stok'em 6 Flyer

Plug Fort Lee, NJ into your GPS and get ready, because Major Stok’em is back again on April 19th from 9AM to 5PM for its 6th year running! Major Stok’em has become one of the best events for new racers to break into the sport and see what they’re made of, even giving them a chance go toe to toe with some of the Tri-State area’s fastest on a relatively mellow course. This is the race where some of the fastest east coast riders got their start – so if you’ve been looking for an ‘entry level race’ you might not find a better opportunity this season.

The Course

Taking place at the Palisades Interstate Park in Fort Lee, NJ the Major Stok’em 6 course is set next to the scenic banks of the Hudson River, just across the river from New York City. The course is known for varying in speed depending on whether there’s a headwind or tailwind, so you’re looking at speeds that could range from a cruising 22MPH up to around 39MPH, much more mellow than what you’ll find at some of the bigger races this summer.

There aren’t any extremely technical features to navigate or anything of the sort, it’s a pretty straight forward course all in all,  running about a 1/4 mile long in total. It does feature a crash corner at the end which seems to claim far more riders than necessary but also create some exciting last minute passes.

For parents bringing their children or for riders going to the course for the first time: There’s no real address for where to park and meet. Use Google Maps and look for the Ross Dock Area, the NJ State website might also help a bit (http://www.njpalisades.org/picnic.htm#Ross). Since it’s off-season when the race goes down, parking will be free!

Major Stok'em 6

Registration

This is important because it doesn’t go down like other events, so pay close attention. Registration will be on Saturday, April 12th – exactly one week before the race. Registration is capped at 100 riders, so don’t be too late in registering or you might miss out. Registration for the event is $40.01. On April 12th you PayPal $0.01 (that’s one cent) to majorstokem@gmail.com, which reserves your spot to race. On race day, when you go to sign-in, bring $40 in cash and your waiver to finalize everything.

It can be a little confusing, so head over to the Stok’em website and read how they describe the process.

Event Schedule

This is directly from the Major Stok’em website. I’ll do my best to update it with any changes as I become aware of them.

6:30AM-8:30AM    EVENT SET-UP HAYBALES AND VOLUNTEERS

8:00AM -9:00AM  REGISTRATION PROCESS (MUST BE A PRE-REGISTERED RIDER)

9:OOAM-9:45AM   PRACTICE RUNS (LIGHT RUNS AND GET TO KNOW THE HILL)  **END OF REGISTRATION**

10:00AM                   RIDERS SAFETY MEETING NEAR THE FINISH LINE. RACE OFFICIALLY STARTS.

5:00PM                      END OF EVENT/CLEANUP

Additional Information

Go check out the FAQ over on the Major Stok’em 6 website and check out the Facebook Event as well. Spectators and non-racers will be aplenty, so even if you don’t feel like racing come out and chill as the season starts to get underway.

Ithaca Skate Jam 2014 – 4/26

It’s almost that time of year again; the days are longer, birds are chirping, and a skate event awaits at the end of every week. To kick it off right, the Ithaca Skate Jam is coming back again for its third straight year and is guaranteed to bring the heat back to the east coast. It’s going down on April 26th from 9AM-6PM, so mark your calendars now.

Ithaca Skate Jam 2014

I think it’s safe to say that after the last two years, Ithaca has become the premiere non-race downhill skateboard event on the east coast. The guys at Comet Skateboards know their way around ramp building and have selected one of the most suitable roads for the event you could hope for, a perfect combo to see some gnarly tricks and skaters pushing each other to make every run better than the last. The event also brings some pretty heavy hitters out to show their stuff, with most of Comet’s team in attendance. While it’s changed a bit this year with the loss of Liam Morgan, we can still hope to see some of the crew like former east coaster Brian Peck, Jared Henry, Eric Jensen, “Big Dave” Tannaci, Nick Ronzani and others. Of course, you’ll also see familiar faces from up and down the east coast tearing it up and showing everyone how to mix it up from just the usual “go fast, big slide” style you see so often and make full use of the ramps and hills.

The Hill

Ithaca Skate Jam 2014 HillThis year the venue for the hill is changing from Buffalo Street to Lake Street, adding a little right hand corner into the mix. It’s partially located in the Ithaca Falls Natural Area and is sure to make for a bit more spectator space as well as a beautiful setting to skate in. The hill is 0.29 miles long with an average grade of 10.79%; this means you’ll be able to pick up speed quickly and recover from slides fast, so you can link together a nice run.

As in years past, expect the run to be full of some great ramps, wall-rides, and pole jams to make things super interesting. If you haven’t had the chance to ride a course like this before, we suggest putting a few hours in at your local skatepark.

Here’s what the guys from Comet had to say about it:

The hill is steep and we’re filling it with shred-worthy goodness. We look at this hill every day and wish there were no cars on it. On April 26th that will come true and we are stoked to skate it with you and all of the features we’re going to build.

Registration/Schedule

Registration is open now over in the Comet Webstore for $40. This gets you 9 hours of skating on the hill, a gift bag with free swag, 33% off discount code for gear after the event, prizes and give-aways throughout the day, and a chance to skate and chill with the Comet pros. If you’re under 18 you’re going to need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian, if you’re over 18 you can sign it yourself.

Check-in will run at the hill from 9AM-11AM, with the hill open to skating as soon as you’re checked-in.

Lodging

There are a few options for lodging in the area, with the most popular one being camping at Robert H. Treman State Park. It’s the closest camping site, being just a few miles outside of town, and will be full of other skaters headed to the event.  We’ll list the options, as outlined on the Facebook event, below.

Robert H. Treman State Park – Camping

Located just a few miles outside of town this is the best camping option. Each site can have 6 adults and spaces cost about $25-$30/night, with a discount for people who live in-state. Reservations can be made here.

Hillside Inn

Closest lodging option to the hill.

607-272-9507

http://www.hillsideinnithaca.com/index.php

Econo Lodge

Just what you’d expect from an Econo Lodge. Amenities close-by and some cheap rooms.

“Close to the Ithaca Mall and a lot of food options and a few miles from the hill. Let them know you’re with the Comet Ithaca Skate Jam to get the discounted rates.

60 rooms available at $124 per night
Shuttle available to airport only
Complimentary Breakfast, WIFI, & Parking
Group name: Ithaca Skate Jam rates
Deal Expires:March 25th”

(607) 257-1400

http://www.econolodge.com/hotel-ithaca-new_york-NY127

La Tourelle

La Tourelle is a hotel/spa that sounds like a great option if mom is bringing a whole gang with her but doesn’t want to hang out at the hill all day. The organizers posted the below, note that these may have been deal prices for the event (the promotion was only good through the 25th of March – but you could still ask).

“La Tourelle is an awesome spa and the choice for you if you want to make the weekend a nice vacation for you while your kids skate all weekend. Accommodations and deals:

‘We offer the following room categories and rates available for your group:

Traditional King Rooms Up to 12 available $180.00 + 13% tax
Deluxe Fireplace King Rooms Up to 8 available $ 220.00 + 13% tax
Double King or Double Queen Rooms Up to 2 available $ 220.00 + 13% tax
Specialty Rooms and Suites TBA’”

(607) 273-2734

http://www.latourelle.com/

Argos Inn

According to the organizers the Argos Inn is “Located right in downtown Ithaca a short walk from the best coffee and food in town. This is another option if you’re looking for a nice weekend vacation in Ithaca.”

(607) 319-4437

http://argosinn.com/

So – are we going to see you there? Where are you staying? Sound off in the comments and let us know! We’ll keep this post updated with information as we learn more.

Soldiers of Downhill Finals with Max Wippermann

Soldiers of Downhill Raw Run

One of the gnarliest races in the country, Soldiers of Downhill, went down this past weekend deep in the mountains of Bainbridge, Ohio. The race is known for being absurdly fast and unforgiving on good old janky, winter beaten, east coast pavement.

Since most people don’t get to experience this course first-hand, we’re stoked that Max Wippermann strapped his GoPro onboard for the finals, so we can see how the course is meant to be raced by some of the fastest downhillers in the country. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Max rides for Landyachtz and Motion Boardshop. Originally from Washington state, he currently calls the east coast home while he studies in upstate New York.

Max gives a perfect view for the Soldiers of Downhill finals, as he took home 2nd place behind George Mackenzie, fending off Matt Kienzle (3rd) and Louis Pilloni (4th) through the fast, and draftable, straights and sweepers.

Check it out as Max, Louis Pilloni, Matt Kienzle and George Mackenzie battle it out on this east coast classic. Pay special attention to the way G-Mac RAGES the last part, staying in full tuck through the 55 mph+ chicane. DAMN SON!

King of the Mountain Downhill – Oct 26 & 27

The 2nd annual King of the Mountain downhill race is going down on October 26th and 27th at the Camp Fortune Ski Resort in Old Chelsea, Quebec (that’s Canada for those of you who didn’t pass geography). This 2 day event is fully sanctioned on a gnarly closed road and includes free camping as well as access to the mini ramp, so it should be well worth your trip if you can swing it!

King of the Mountain Downhill

The Course

The course is on the access road to the Camp Fortune Ski Resort in Old Chelsea, Quebec. Joey Bidner, the event organizer, says speeds average around 70 kmh, or 43 mph for most of the half-mile long course. It features some tight sweeper turns but doesn’t require any drifting, meaning you should see some fast and tight racing the entire time.

Joey also says that because the road is usually super busy there’s no real ‘home field advantage’ for local skaters, meaning almost everyone will be on a level playing field to start with on the first day of practice runs.

Registration

It’s 80 Canadian Dollars (77.60 United States Dollars) to race both days, or $60 CDA ($58.17 USD) to freeride, which gives you access to the hill with rides up to the top. You can REGISTER HERE. There are 140 spots total for the Open Class, and 60 spots total for the Amateur Class, which will make for some pretty epic racing all around!

Camping is provided in the cost of registration, with showers, changing rooms, etc for your convenience. There’s also a mini ramp to skate when you’re feeling like a change of pace from the hill. Epic.

Race Format and Schedule

Day 1, October 26th will be for practice and qualifying races. Qualifying races will be run in predetermined, randomized heats of 4 with riders scoring points each round. This will determine the bracket for the elimination rounds taking place on October 27th.

Day 1 – October 26th
Registration: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Practice: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM
First qualifier run: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Lunch: 2:00 PM-2:30PM
qualifiers: 2:30 PM-5:00 PM
Dinner:  5:00 PM
Mini-Ramp Jam- 7:00 PM
After Party 9:00PM-1:00 AM

Day 2 – Oct 27th
Practice: 9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Eliminations & Finals (also more qualifiers if needed): 11:00 AM-5:00 PM
Awards: 6:00 PM

Check out the official Facebook Event for any last-minute updates or changes and make sure to RSVP if you’re going. Canada came out to a bunch of our East Coast races this year and even cleaned up at a couple of them, so it you can make it, get up there and open a can of east coast American whoop ass haha! This event should be pretty killer.

Fall Wheelabrator — 10/27 in Lisbon, CT

Wheelabrator 2013

 

UPDATE: Originally we had the locations as “Libson, CT,” when in fact it’s “Lisbon, CT.” Make sure you get it right or your GPS won’t find the location!

Attending Wheelabrator has become somewhat of a rite of passage among southern New England skaters having been going down twice a year for a while now. The emphasis with the event is that it’s not a contest, nor a nontest, but simply a gathering of skaters for a dope day on varied terrain.

This fall’s Wheelabrator will be going down just before Halloween, on October 27th. It’ll start at 10:30 AM and go until no one’s down to skate anymore, which usually lasts well into the afternoon. Costumes are being highly encouraged, as well as helmets.

It’s a pretty cool spot that features a narrow and fast bike path with some killer turns that are super sketchy and terribly fun in packs, a straight downhill run for people to practice pack runs, and a straightforward slide hill; it has something for almost every rider at almost every skill level. The other dopest part: with the exception of other skaters coming to the event, there’s virtually no traffic.

Plug “Wheelabrator Industries” in Lisbon, CT into your GPS and you’ll clearly see where to go and where to park once you get to the hills.

Check out the official event description:

You’ve been asking for it and now its time for another awesome session! For anyone unfamiliar wheelabrator is NOT a competition, its just a stoke filled session at one great spot that has it all! There are 3 hill to be skated all right next to each other.
A 8/10ths of a mile mellow DH run that is fairly straight and is a blast for huge pack runs.

A shorter narrow bikepath tech DH run that winds through the woods and although it doesn’t get that fast, the corners can get hairy at full speed on such a narrow run

A straight forward freeridee hill that makes a mellow S turn

All of these runs have virtually no traffic!

This is a great event for all ability levels, even if you’re just getting into skating Wheelabrator is a guaranteed good time! Costumes are encouraged!!!

Here’s a video from this past spring’s Wheelabrator:

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

The Hubbub this past weekend in the skate community was centered in Ludlow VT, where nestled in the depths of Vermont’s dark woods and cozy towns with covered bridges lies Okemo Mountain, known by many for its skiing, and by few, until recently, for a road whose level of gnar few dare to attempt.   The 3 mile long, 3344’ tall run, with chicanes, hairpins, and a 50+ MPH straight away sounds intimidating enough as it is, but this king of east coast runs’ is gnarly, as many east coast roads are, because of its pavement.

The Course

2013 Silverheels Cup Sketch Factors

Sketch factor multipliers. | Original photo: Marion Ross

Cracks, pavement changes, and snowcat tracks litter the road from top to bottom.  While skating straight you may at any point find your board drifting sideways from vibrations.  While corning your puck is always at risk of getting swallowed by a crack or pothole.  Speed bumps and tree root humps are a fun intermittent feature.

One does not simply skate Okemo. But on September 14th and 15th a few brave souls did as they raced for the 2013 Silverheels Cup.

2013 Silverheels Cup

While some skaters opted for what they thought would be the safer option, luging that is, people from every group took spills and slams.  Thankfully no one was seriously injured, although there were scary moments, one can’t help thinking back to the legendary “Vermont Massacre” race that occurred at Ascutney.  Despite the injuries and some trips to the hospital, the overall tone of the weekend was great, and everyone who stepped on a board or sat on a luge or drift trike had a great time.  Event organizer Marc Dean once again pulled off a fantastic weekend of riding.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Some of the carnage. | Photo: Marion Ross

Marc, who works tirelessly throughout the year with the mountains event coordinators, sponsors, and skaters was happy with the way the event turned out, wished all those injured a speedy recovery.  “This was the most mentally challenging hills that I have ever ridden. Everyone who rode is due props for showing how good the east coast riders truly are.  A big thank you to Original Skateboards – Lindsay and Sean [Kolvenbach] for all of their help in making this happen,” Marc said.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Skaters coming down the hill. | Photo: Marion Ross.

Sean Kolvenbach, the team manager over at Original Skateboards, said the team “had an awesome weekend, filled with beers, good friends, and fast hills.  Unfortunately that hill had a few to many casualties.  Driving up that run first thing Saturday morning all I kept thinking was, they want people to mob this hill, while smiling in disbelief.  It’s the jankiest run on the east coast for sure. [Laughs] I feel like everyone who skated there this weekend up’d their game a few points for sure.  Stoked to get 2 of my riders on Am Podium though, they survived the hill and stood strong!”

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Riders headed back to the top. | Photo: Marion Ross

Despite the condition of the road, by the time pro racing reached its final heats skaters were attempting single slide runs while battling it out for a spot on the podium.

2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Kai Salam rounds at Turn at Okemo. | Photo: Marion Ross

Video

Team Mids filmed a follow run the day before racing so those who didn’t attend could see how the road is really meant to be skated. Check it out:

Results

Standings from Sundays racing:

Pro Skate:

  1. Niko Desmarais
  2. Tom Wilson
  3. Mac Holmes
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain Pro Skate Podium

Some of the Pro Skate podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

Pro Luge:

  1. Chris Hicks
  2. Dave Aparicio
  3. Bob2 and Bob3
2013 Silverheels Cup at Okemo Mountain

Luge podium. | Photo: Marion Ross

AM Skate:

  1. Will Schroder
  2. Andrew Licata
  3. Jared Beers
  4. Izzy Moreno

Women’s Skate:

  1. Cassandra Duchesne

Women’s Luge:

  1. Emily Pross

Butt Pirate King:

  1. Dave Aparicio

Other Press/Media

  • Article in the local Vermont paper, the Rutland Herald.
  • Special thanks to Marion Ross for letting us use the photos. Check out Marion’s work at her website.